In The Twin, Following the aftermath of a tragic accident that claimed the life of one of their twins, Rachel (Teresa Palmer, A Discovery of Witches, Warm Bodies, Lights Out) and husband Anthony (Steven Cree, A Discovery of Witches, Outlander) relocate to the other side of the world with their surviving son in the hopes of building a new life. What begins as a time of healing in the quiet Scandinavian countryside soon takes an ominous turn when Rachel begins to unravel the torturous truth about her son and confronts the malicious forces attempting to take a hold of him.
Written by Taneli Mustonen and Aleksi Hyvärinen and produced by Don Films’ Aleksi Hyvärinen (“Lake Bodom”), The Twin is executive produced by Joris van Wijk, Shudder’s Emily Gotto, Film Constellation’s Fabien Westerhoff, and Post Control Helsinki’s Toni Valla. The film is backed by Shudder, Playtime, Nordisk Film, the Finnish Film Foundation, Estonian Film Institute and the Finnish television channel MTV3.
This is Taneli Mustonen’s English language film debut, though he is definitely not new to the genre, already known for Lake Bodom (2016), Reunion (2015), and The Renovation (2020). This is the first of his films that I have seen though, so I had little in the way of expectations. In earnest, I wasn’t really all that excited for the film. The overly simplistic title with the done-to-death cliches in the trailer and synopsis left me feeling less than enthused. Shudder does have a tendency to pick up pretty good titles though so I thought that I should perhaps give it a chance.
The story starts out as one would expect, with the family moving into a creepy old house right after the death of one twin. The mother (Palmer) is now broken and overprotective of the surviving child. Within minutes of them entering the house, we get the creepy child noises and haunting giggles one associates with the kiddy-centric horror flicks. The couple is clearly at odds with each other (as one would expect in such circumstances) with husband Anthony (Cree) coming across as the rock of the relationship, dealing with the desperately grieving mother.
Once the supernatural elements begin to make themselves known, things become increasingly predictable, which was—needless to say—disappointing. The Twin borrows elements from all kinds of horror films; too numerous to mention, but doesn’t really add its own kick or twist to the flavour of the film; until the very end that is.
The acting is great though, and the production value of the film is equally as good. The score is quite beautiful and haunting in moments; eerie and foreboding. There was a lot that was good about the film, but the direction that we headed down in the latter acts was simply a huge disappointment for me. Without spoiling the truth behind the film, I don’t know which target audience appreciates or even likes this kind of twist reveal. It’s just lacklustre, stale, unoriginal and honestly quite boring. The film itself is a well-made, well-edited, and well-cut piece of cinematography but I cannot imagine any horror fan or movie buff enjoying the way that this plays out. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. Trailer and artwork below.
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